Whether you’ve been on the hunt for a day, a week, or upwards of a year, looking for a job is no simple task. Between trying to craft the perfect resume, finding an appropriate interview outfit, and nailing the actual interview, there are things that we may not be thinking about when it comes to securing a job- things that can actually hurt our chances of being offered the position. Recently I’ve been able to take a look into the hiring process from the employers’ side, and there are some big mistakes many applicants made and may not have realized.
Social Media needs to represent you in a positive way
When it comes to using social media, one thing I learned very quickly is that the way you use it matters when you’re looking for a job. If you have photos or posts where you’re behaving in less than a professional manner, it’s probably best to keep your profile private. Or if you don’t want to make your accounts private, keep posts that might be questionable in the eyes of an employer off of social media. Our profiles say a lot about us, and they can be the quickest way for an employer to learn about their applicants. Don’t let one stupid, drunken post, drama, or that post where you were venting about a previous position get in your way, just keep your online self clean. If you aren’t sure about a post, ask yourself if you would openly talk to your potential boss or show your potential boss the post.
Don’t be late, but don’t be too early
Have you ever heard someone say that to be on time is actually to be late? Well if not, it’s true. You want to show up early for your interviews, but not too early. A good rule of thumb is that you should check in about 10-15 to minutes before your scheduled interview.
Your resume should speak for you, make sure it’s not speaking poorly
One of the most disheartening mistakes that I’ve seen people make is to have spelling and grammatical errors in their resumes. You want your resume to be super clean, and if spelling and grammar just aren’t your thing, use a website like Grammarly.com and ask a friend with experience to look over it before submitting. If you’re still in school, go to your university’s career services center and have them take a look. An impressive resume can go a long way.
Make sure you ask questions
Asking questions is super important, and I think a lot of us underestimate just how much asking questions can help your interview. You want to ask relevant and personal questions in your interview. I don’t mean personal like “How old are you?”, “Do you have any pets?”, or “Are you married?”. I mean personal as in “What drew you to this company?”, “How long did it take you to get to the position that you’re in?”, “What’s your favorite part of this job?”, “What would you say the most challenging aspect of this position is?”, and “What advice do you have for someone who wants to be successful in this position?”. These kinds of questions show that you’re interested in the position and that you want to know more about the position, company, and those you may potentially work with. If you really want to stand out, do your research on the company you are interviewing with and ask about specific projects they are currently working on. Show that you have invested time in your preparation and you know what you’re talking about.
Being polite isn’t something you should save for only the people interviewing you, the other staff members matter too
When we’re looking for a job, all too often we focus so much on the people that will be interviewing us that we might forget about the other people that we come in contact with during the entire process. Make sure to smile and thank the person you check in with, be the first to say “It was nice to meet you” and “Have a good rest of your day.”Those things will be noticed and everyone you come in contact with is interviewing you in their own way. If you have a little bit of an attitude, seem to be overconfident, or rub someone the wrong way, it might make it back to the person in charge of hiring you and cost you the position.